By Jan Rahn
Always a tough meet for surrounding teams, the Perkins County runners did very well at McCook, according to Coach Paula Wurst. The cooler temperatures and shortened climb to the highest hill contributed to the runners’ success.
“This does not take away from the runners’ efforts—it is still the hilliest course that we run on,” said Wurst. “There are lots of Class B and C schools at this meet, and I was pleased with the runners’ times and places. It was a nice day at a very big meet.”
As a team, the girls finished seventh in a field of 10 teams, and the boys finished eighth.
Medaling for Perkins County was Emily Kemling who finished in 15th place with a time of 16:50.37 at the invite on Sept. 13.
Winning the meet was Gabriella Gracia of Holdrege with a time of 14:25.47.
Ranking 23rd from Perkins County was Mariah Curtis, 25th place went to Courtney Lyon, 38th Kendra Hoffert and 52nd Jessi Hoffert.
“Emily [Kemling] did a really nice job to get up in the medals, and I was pleased for Mariah [Curtis] to be able to stick closer this week,” said Coach Wurst. “Cooler weather helped her!”
Courtney Lyon was only two seconds behind Curtis. “The way these front girls stick together is really excellent to see,” said Wurst.
She commended Kendra Hoffert’s time and place which were also noteworthy with less than a two-minute gap—what she likes to see between the first and fourth runners.
Putting forth a brave effort was Jessi Hoffert who was recovering from an illness.
With a score of 99, the girls were among 59 runners and as a team outranked Dundy County/Stratton, Chase County and Hershey.
Placing first was McCook with a score of 42, followed closely by St. Pat’s with a score of 43.
Other runners competing were from Holdrege, North Platte, Ogallala and Oberlin.
Girls Team Standings
1. McCook 42
2. NPSP 43
3. Holdrege 52
4. North Platte 61
5. Ogallala 72
6. Oberlin 79
7. Perkins Co. 99
8. Dundy Co./Stratton 133
9. Chase Co. 140
10. Hershey 203
Perkins Co. Runners
15. E. Kemling 16:50.37
23. M. Curtis 17:43.50
25. C. Lyon 17:46.11
38. K. Hoffert 18:35.59
52. J. Hoffert 21.14.75
The boys also ran well, said Coach Wurst, with their team’s times continuing to improve even on McCook’s hilly course. The Plainsmen runners placed eighth as a team with a score of 140. The two top spots went to North Platte with a score of 26 and Ogallala with a score of 32.
Wurst said Mark Hanson, Brendon Barry and Robert Engel ran in a quick pack through the first half of the race, with Engel running his best time of the year. Also running a season best time was Jake Sexson. Wurst complimented Brady Mailand and JV runners Coy Aerni and Dylan Barry for running well.
“They made huge improvements this week,” said Wurst. “They ran together until the final hill, encouraging each other the entire race. Coy took 45 seconds off his best time, and Dylan improved his best time by two minutes. I was impressed by their improvement!”
Perkins County boys ran in a field of 59 varsity and 33 junior varsity runners. Other runners were in teams from Dundy County/Stratton, McCook, Chase County, St. Pat’s, Holdrege, Oberlin and Sutherland.
Mark Hanson’s time of 20:16.89 was in the top half of the finishers.
Brendon Barry and Robert Engel came in at 36th and 38th. Ranking in 47th place was Jake Sexson and Brady Mailand finished 50th.
Among 33 runners in JV, Coy Aerni ranked 20th and Dylan Barry 22nd.
Boys Team Standings
1. North Platte 26
2. Ogallala 32
3. Dundy Co./Strat 62
4. McCook 66
5. Chase Co. 71
6. St. Pat’s 101
7. Holdrege 112
8. Perkins Co. 140
9. Oberlin 149
10. Sutherland 170
Perkins Co. Runners
27. M. Hanson 20:16.89
36. B. Barry 20:49.26
38. R. Engel 21:07.78
47. J. Sexson 21:44.66
50. B. Mailand 23:04.62
20. C. Aerni 23:29.26
22. D. Barry 23:45.52
The cross country teams travel a short distance Thursday (today) for the Ogallala meet, then hit the road for a trip to Kearney on Monday.